One of the toughest things to manage while abroad, and in general, is time. Wanting to do various trips, homework for classes, and any responsibilities back at home in a completely new time zone: these have been some of my toughest challenges here so far. Because most of my classes only meet once a week, I feel like I got much time. Also, due to my internship, I am working three times a week while also writing journals. When it comes down to it, time is a very valuable resource that we tend to take for granted.
One of the most important things that has helped me is to add another time zone to my phone. Most phones have a way to keep your current time and those of other time zones. In that way, there is less of a need to do a math problem when I’m sending messages to friends. Even when having a deadline to meet for registering classes while abroad. While it seems that I can send an email in the morning to a professor, it can be a problem since it will likely be the middle of the night for them when they receive the email thus prolonging the time of response if someone thing huge were too happen.
Agendas have also been extremely helpful to help me remind me of homework or important dates that I need to keep in mind. I usually kept a good memory of homework that was due in my mind and did it on time as well. However, with my needs to travel and explore, it has become an issue where I’m procrastinating without realizing on some work. Having a specific day where I can focus on homework has also been a lifesaver. Plus, knowing if the work is hard or if it is easier to see if you can be finished in no time can help. This is true especially for papers that seem to have a far-off due date, but can creep up a lot sooner than expected.
An agenda also helps to do the homework, or at least start on it, as soon as possible especially before heading to big trips. I realized I would rather not work when I return back to my apartment. I would rather have more time to enjoy my trips without much stress besides a budget and gifts. I have also noticed that the earlier I do things, the less I also do overall as well. Sometimes work tends to overlap as well; I recently had to do a full 15-minute presentation in one class and get an abstract ready for another on the same day. I was just glad it was an abstract and not a full paper to do or else I do not think I would have turned the paper in on time.
The toughest part has yet to come with midterms, and I still have to sit down and make sure I understand half a semester’s worth of work. Two of classes are more project based midterms; I manage those better than the written ones. My class on the Italian Mafia and Italian language can cover a whole range of topics that I would need to not only memorize, but make sure I understand. If I don’t understand it, there is no way I would be able to even come close to passing the final considering that most classes make the test about the whole semester’s content.
I am, somehow and someway, managing the limited time I got while making the most out of my study abroad. Things can happen that can limit what I can do. However, “where there is a will there is a way.” Even if I mess up some parts, I know I can recover if I react quickly. I just hope no work piles up too much for my own good since I still need to put into account time to relax as well.